[rspec-users] Formatting shared example descriptions with test data

Ashley Moran ashley.moran at patchspace.co.uk
Mon Jul 26 12:15:47 EDT 2010

On Jul 26, 2010, at 3:44 pm, Wincent Colaiuta wrote:

> Personally I wouldn't do this. It makes it harder for anybody coming to your project to understand what's going on, because they see this "contract 'foo' do" construct and don't know what it is unless they dig into your spec_helper. If you really want the word contract to appear in there I would just write the shared examples like this:

Actually, this doesn't bother me.  All the commercial development I do is pair-programmed, so it doesn't take long for anyone new to a project to pick things like these up.  I prefer to improve the semantics at the expense of some initial learning cost.  (As it happens, this isn't a commercial project anyway, it's just something I'm doing on the side for my own benefit.)

> So if I'm reading you correctly, this is where the "aspect of behavior that can occur N times" comes in, right? AFAIK the typical way to do this is via "macros" (ie. generating examples on the fly, typically keeping to examples of one assertion per iteration of the loop). So it's just a minor tweak of what you've got there:
>  properties.each do |property|
>    it "is false if #{property} is different" do
>      ...
>    end
>  end

If you mean by using a custom matcher in there, then yeah, I get you.  But as this is more extensive, shared examples (which prove many individual pieces of behaviour) seemed a better fit than a matcher (which are intended to prove just one).

> But alas, this pattern won't work with shared example groups. I don't know of any way to pass the "properties" variable in this case, and even if you could it wouldn't work anyway because, AFAIK, the shared example group is itself only evaluated once when the file is first read. It isn't re-evaluted each time it is included in another example group. At least, that's my understanding of it. I might be wrong about that. So, looks like you're stuck with having multiple assertions inside a single "it" block.

Hmmm, if that's the case, then this approach won't work anyway.  But I'll investigate... it depends on the implementation.  This is one of the things I want to find out.

>> This is fine for a class, but the behaviour I want to prove with a Collection needs to be mixed in once per collection, eg (the last two are made up):
>> describe User do
>>   it_satisfies_contract "Entity Collection", for: "checklist_templates"
>>   it_satisfies_contract "Entity Collection", for: "groups"
>>   it_satisfies_contract "Entity Collection", for: "delegated_actions"
>> end
> Here the "standard" way of parametrizing this would be via blocks ("standard" in inverted commas because the ability to pass a block here is such a recent addition to RSpec).

Yeah, I'm doing that to get the necessary objects inside the shared example.  But as you pointed out, the scope inside example groups and inside the examples themselves are very different.



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